Episode #150: How Perfectionism Can Lead to Depression and Anxiety + Tips on How to Stop the Toxic Perfectionism Cycle (Interview with Psychologist Dr. Margaret Rutherford)
Published April 12, 2020
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56 min
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    We all know we should try our best and strive for excellence in everything we do, but what happens when this desire to do well turns toxic? In this podcast, I speak to clinical psychologist Dr. Margaret Rutherford about how perfectionism can be another manifestation of depression, what to do when our desire to succeed becomes destructive, why we need to learn, rather than fear, our failures and useful techniques to overcome perfectionist tendencies. In her new book, Perfectly-Hidden Depression, Margaret notes how many perfectionists often don’t acknowledge or know that they are depressed, or that their desire to succeed in every area of their lives is a coping strategy to deal with past hurts and trauma. Many do not have what are considered “normal” traits of depression, that is feelings of helplessness and hopelessness. Indeed, in a number of cases they do not know how to express uncomfortable or painful feelings and emotions, and tend to talk about what they have gone through in a very detached way. This type of perfectionism is different from striving for excellence, which is more process-orientated and encourages you to learn from your mistakes. Perfectly-hidden depression, on the other hand, is fueled by fear and shame. Toxic perfectionism tends to be goal-orientated, and sees failure as a sign of worthlessness, which puts intense pressure on someone’s performance, compelling them to constantly do better and hide their mistakes. Read the full episode blog and transcript here: https://drleaf.com/blogs/news/how-perfectionism-can-lead-to-depression-and-anxiety-tips-on-how-to-stop-the-toxic-perfectionism-cycle-interview-with-psychologist-dr-margaret-rutherford    Podcast Highlights: 1:58 What is perfectly hidden depression? 7:25 The role of the therapist is not to fix people 10:49 What is perfectionism? 17:34, 27:20 Ten main traits of perfectly-hidden depression 19:36: How is this different from other forms of depression 38:00 The first step to healing is acknowledging that there is a problem  42:01 Tips and techniques to deal with perfectionism 40:05 Helping child or teen battling with perfectly-hidden depression   52:10 Social media and perfectionism    For more info on Dr. Margaret and to get her book visit: https://drmargaretrutherford.com   Listen to her amazing podcast here: https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/selfwork-dr-margaret-rutherford-self-help-mental-health/id1166015598     Special offers from this week's sponsors:   -NOOM (the best healthy habit company): For your NOOM special offer see: noom.com/DRLEAF   -SEED (my favorite probiotic company): Visit https://seed.com and use code MENTALMESS for 15% off your first month of the Daily Synbiotic     Additional Resources:   -Get my new brain detox app SWITCH on sale now! 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And be sure to sign up for my weekly newsletter to get even more mental self-care tips delivered to your inbox weekly and to see my upcoming events (you can sign up at drleaf.com!)   Follow me on social media for daily mental self-care tips!   -Instagram: @drcarolineleaf: https://www.instagram.com/drcarolineleaf/   -Facebook: Dr. Caroline Leaf: https://www.facebook.com/drleaf   -Twitter: @drcarolineleaf: https://twitter.com/DrCarolineLeaf   -Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/drcarolineleaf     If you enjoyed this episode please leave a 5 review on iTunes, Google Play, or wherever you are listening! And don't forget to subscribe and share this podcast with friends and family! I love seeing your posts on social media! For podcast sponsorship inquiries, questions regarding the episode, or topic suggestions please email dominique@drleaf.com     Join my Peace During the Pandemic Challenge! All you have to do is download my brain detox app SWITCH and work through the 21 day program in the app! A 3 month subscription is on sale now for less 50%. Just look for Switch on Your Brain in the App Store or Google Play or visit: https://theswitch.app   Despite the necessity of social distancing, we believe we can still come together as a community and be supportive, loving, and caring through technology, which is why we have also created a Facebook support group. This is a group for everyone-a place to post prayer requests, questions, concerns, updates, encouragement, needs and so on. We are in this together! Join my Coronavirus Facebook Support Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1870578619744226/?ref=share&_ke=eyJrbF9lbWFpbCI6ICJsZWFmLmplc3NpY2FAZ21haWwuY29tIiwgImtsX2NvbXBhbnlfaWQiOiAiS3FnSDlkIn0%3D
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